Scratching is a normal aspect of cat habits and serves a couple of functions, like conditioning of the claws (cats scratch to eliminate the dead outer layer of their claws), acting as a marker (cats mark their territory by leaving both a visual mark and a scent – they have scent glands on their paws). Cats also scratch to stretch their bodies and flex their feet and claws.
Cats like to scratch! The action of scratching in fact eliminates frayed and damaged outer claws, uncovering new, sharper ones. Nevertheless, what is natural cat behavior can turn into troublesome to deal with for cat owners – especially when the cat in question starts damaging home furniture or even scratching family members.
The majority of cats will live joyful, non-furniture-destroying lives without being declawed, and a few extra tips taken by the caring pet owner can help to make sure this is the case. In many instances, scratching problem can be stopped with environmental and behavioral control.
Why does my cat scratch everything?
In certain instances, keeping the cat faraway from the place that is being destroyed is the easiest method to the situation. Another alternative is to let the cat to have access to whatever is being scratched inappropriately, but to create that place unattractive to the cat while making a more proper area more interesting. Many cats scratch the sofa because they actually don’t have an alternative choice to exercise their scratching desires. All cats have a need to scratch and should be provided with best suited posts to do so.
The majority of cats like to scratch a vertical surface that is high enough to let them fully arch their backs and really get into it, but also solid enough they don’t have to fear about falling it. Cat trees or condos can be an great solution if they are well-constructed of the best suited materials, as they also offer cats opportunity to get above their surroundings – another natural cat behavior!
What to Do About Your Cat’s Scratching Habits?
How to train cats to scratch where you want them to?
The best strategy when dealing with scratching is not to aim to stop your cat from scratching, but as an alternative to teach them where and what to scratch. A great strategy is to provide your cat with proper, interesting (for cat) surfaces and items to scratch, for example scratching posts. The next steps will help you encourage your cat to scratch where you want:
– Offer several different scratching posts with a variety of qualities and surface types. Try giving your cat posts made of cardboard, wood, rug,sisal rope and upholstery. Some cats like horizontal posts, others enjoy vertical or slanted posts. Some have a preference for a vertical grain for raking, while others choose a horizontal grain for picking. Once you find out your cat’s preference for scratching, provide more posts of that kind in different places. Try to remember that all cats want a solid post that won’t shift or fall when used. Most cats also enjoy a post that’s big enough that they can stretch totally. (This can be why cats appear to like curtains so much!)
– Motivate your cat to investigate her posts by scenting them with catnip, hanging toys on them and putting them in places where cat will be inclined to climb on them.
– Reduce unacceptable scratching by eliminating or covering other attractive things. Turn speakers to the wall. Put plastic, double-sided sticky tape or sandpaper on furniture or on the floor where your cat might scratch. The cats need something more proper to target their claws on. Put scratching posts close to these objects, as “official” solutions. You should place big, stable scratching posts straight in front of the blocked elements. I suggest you also place a horizontal scratcher on the carpet. Although scratchers should be made out of materials that the cats adore to scratch, they shouldn’t be the identical texture as the couches, carpets and rugs.
– Cut your cat’s nails often
– Think about putting plastic nail caps on your cat’s claws so that he’ll do no destruction if he scratches on something in your home.
These specific caps attach to claws with an adhesive. It shouldn’t be permanent solution, use them while you educate your cat to avoid the furniture and concentrate attentions on the scratching posts and horizontal scratchers.
– It’s good to strengthen the cats anytime you catch them during scratching the posts and scratchers. Affection, snacks, and clicker training work effectively for reinforcing and rewarding good behavior.
– If you catch your cat in the process of scratching an unacceptable thing, you can try startling him by clapping your hands or squirting him with water. Use this method just as a final option, because your cat may connect you with the startling event and start to fear you.
– Shouting at the cats may stop the actions right now, but it doesn’t train the cats to scratch the accepted furniture, and it can have unwanted side effects e.g. cat can respond to shouting by scratching the furniture and the carpet more intently.